Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


          Most of us have faced times of anxiety when a loved one is facing physical problems.  Waiting for one who is in surgery can try one's nerves, even if your trust is in the Lord.  When you don't know exactly what is happening it can be so hard.  And I am convinced there is no such thing as minor surgery, unless, of course, it is surgery on somebody not related to you.   Any surgery or procedure has risks and things can go wrong.

          Anxiety can also kick in when you are waiting to hear the results of tests that you or a loved one has had.  What did the tests reveal?  Is it cancer?  The days and hours seem to go so slowly when you are waiting for those answers.
           When my wife was in the hospital in July she was in critical condition from a blood infection caused by a diseased gall bladder.  Waiting for answers and for improvement in her vitals and test results was a real strain.  The days and hours passed so slowly until her condition finally began to improve.
          But during that time a test revealed an additional possible serious problem that couldn't be dealt with at that time in her weakened condition.  And later she was referred to a specialist from Philadelphia.  After studying her results he recommended another MRI with contrast when her health improved. 
          Now MRI's aren't always fun but they are a real problem for those, like my wife, who have a pacemaker.  In fact, unless the pacemaker is MRI compatible, you can't even have an MRI.  Thankfully we asked to have a compatible one implanted when she received hers.  But that then requires that a cardiologist be present to turn it off before the scan and then reset it after the scan.  So for that reason it has to be scheduled weeks in advance and can only be done in a hospital.
          So the test was finally set up for Thursday at LGH.  I was led to believe that it would take about an hour.  After being admitted she was taken by wheelchair on a long trip to the far regions of the hospital where the MRI is located.  I was to wait for her in the hospital admitting area, far from the MRI area.
          Assuming she would be gone for an hour, I went to visit my brother-in-law who just had a knee replacement.  After about 30 minutes visiting with him I returned to the waiting area to wait for my wife.  She wasn't allowed to eat or drink for four hours before the test so we planned to go for something to eat as soon as she was done.
          And I waited, and waited, and waited.  Stating to feel a little anxious, I asked the attendant if she knew how much longer it would be.  She called the MRI area and they said she would be back in at most 30 minutes.  That half hour passed slowly while I waited.  Still she was not back.  Later the attendant called again and they said it would be 20 more minutes, but gave no reason for the delays.  Now I was beginning to be concerned that there might have been a problem with her heart.  More than 20 minutes passed again and I had now waited much more than 2 hours.  Finally the attendant called them again and this time they at least let me talk to my wife who told me there was no reason to worry. The MRI was just finished and they were waiting for the cardiologist to come to reset her pacemaker.  So, almost 3 hours after we arrived, my wife was finally done. So much for an hour procedure.  I guess eventually by blood pressure and anxiety settled.
           As it turns out the problem was that she had to wait for everything – the initial interview, then the cardiologist, then the MRI technicians, then the MRI, then the cardiologist again, and finally somebody to bring her back to where I was.  Not a very efficient process.   A little more communication with me would have made it so much better and might have reduced my anxiety.
          Unfortunately, anxiety is a problem that I deal with.  I know it is wrong and I do trust the Lord, but I guess I need to learn to exercise more faith and patience.  Am I the only person with that problem?
          But,  thankfully, the MRI and the pacemaker went well and my anxiety was just wasted energy, as it usually is.  Of course, now we must wait two more weeks to learn the results and I imagine my anxiety will again return as that time approaches.  I must remind myself, "Cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you!"
          Hopefully you don't have a problem with anxiety.  It's stressful!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Life Of Generosity

             I continue to miss my father no matter how old I become.  He was a very wise man who loved the Lord.  He set an amazing example for me, not only by what he said, but by the way He lived.
            Dad had a very challenging time raising our family in the World War 2 years. His first teaching job, in Doylestown, PA, earned him just $1,200 a year.  As a result he was forced to leave us to live with his parents in Sunbury while he taught there because he couldn't afford to take us along.  He would return to be with us on weekends.  His work on the Manhattan Project and teaching Air Force cadets during the war, then teaching high school after the war, meant that we had to move almost every year until he could get a permanent job. He coached and worked extra jobs at night to support us. He couldn't even afford to buy a car until I was in second grade. I was in fourth grade when dad finally dad got a good permanent job as an engineer with RCA in Lancaster.
            But growing up I soon learned that all my parents owned really belonged to the Lord and was used for Him.  Later I discovered something that nobody else ever knew.  At times when our new church could not reach its budget and pay bills, dad, as treasurer, would quietly pay the bills from his own money. This continued for many years even during his senior years.  Other church leaders and pastors never knew of his sacrifice.  But all that he had was the Lord's and he lived that way, all of his life.
            The month before I began my first permanent job that had health insurance, our son had emergency surgery.  We were stuck with major bills and no insurance.  And on a beginning teacher's salary this was tough.  And there were other bills that kept us strapped financially during those days.
          One day I shared with my dad how hard it was to meet our obligations and still give regularly to the Lord.  He shared with me some of their experiences in very tough times and how the Lord always provided when they were faithful in their giving.  He suggested that I trust the Lord by giving faithfully, off the top of my income, and then see how the Lord would provide for our needs.
            We took his wise advice and never looked back.  And the Lord has provided all that we have needed … again … and again … and again.  Thanks dad for your advice and example.  And thank you Lord for your faithfulness and provision to us.
            I thought about this experience this week when I was listening to David Jeremiah in his series "A Life Beyond Amazing".  His presentation on "A Life of Generosity" really caught my attention.  Here is part of what he had to say.
            "As Americans we like to pat ourselves on the back and repeat the mantra that we are the most generous nation in the world.  Our government does give away a lot of money but that does not make us a generous nation.  Generous nations are  made up of generous people and it may shock you to learn that more than 85 percent of Americans give away less than 2 percent of their income.  And the numbers for evangelical Christians are not much better."
            "According to a recent study in Relevant magazine, only 10 to 25 percent of the people in a typical American congregation tithe (that is, give the biblical starting point of 10 percent) to the church, the poor, and kingdom causes.  The same report concluded that if the remaining 75 to 90 percent of American Christians began to tithe regularly, global hunger, starvation and death from preventable diseases could be relieved in five years.  Additionally, illiteracy could all but be eliminated, the world's water and sanitation issues could be solved, all overseas mission work could be funded and more than $100 billion per year could be left for additional ministry."
            Wow, those kind of possible results are stunning.  Now I don't know how one predicts those type of results, but even if they were only half completed, it would still be amazing.
            For 15 years I have served as financial secretary of our church and, unfortunately, I know more about people's giving than I ever wanted to know.  I often wish that I didn't know these things.  But, based on what I have seen over the years, the statistic that only 10 to 25 percent of people give a tithe is a very reasonable figure.  In fact it might even be too high.   While many do give very generously, a large percentage of members do not give a tithe, at least through the church.  But, at the same time, I am always amazed at how some folks who have so very little, give so much and so regularly.  And I am sure that the Lord blesses them for their sacrifices.
            There are times when I wish that I could talk to some people and just share with them the advice that my dad gave me about giving.  It is so sad that so many believers are going through life missing the blessings of giving back to the Lord a portion of what he has so graciously given them.  Too many believers today have their priorities wrong.
            Maybe we need to be reminded of 1 Timothy 6:7, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."  And many of us have stockpiled more than we even know what to do with.  Even king David recognized that God was the source of his wealth. "For all things come from You." 1 Chronicles 29:14.   Who owns your money and possessions?  Are you living a life of generosity?
            Thank you dad for your good advice and example.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Breaking News

We interrupt this blog to bring you this special news bulletin.

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

          In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

          Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).  We will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. It will of course be someone of proper English lineage, such as Dame Judi Dench or Michael Caine, but most certainly not Simon Cowell. 
          Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
          To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
          1. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
          2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').
          3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'
          4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
          5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
          6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
          7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
          8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
          10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
          11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nannies). 
          12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
          13. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
          14. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
God Save The Queen

Saturday, October 7, 2017


My father teaching children
as an engineer at RCA
          I love the technological age in which we live.  Computers and the internet have greatly changed our lives and I am enjoying it.  I think if I were younger I would go back to college and get a degree in technology or computer programming.. 
          But in honor of this, the 800th blog that I have posted on this site, I feel that I should at least make a few comments about some of the changes, like blogs, that have resulted from technological advances over the years.  I know that very little profound has ever been shared here in those 800 writings, and this one will not be an exception to that.  But thank you to the few of you who have continued to visit here over the years.  Either you have very few useful things to do with your time or you pity me and are trying to humor me and make me feel that my ramblings are somehow useful or interesting. Either way, thank you!  But as I was saying ...
           One of the few things that I have really missed since my retirement have been the regular in-service technology training programs that were provided for us by the school district.  It is so much harder to keep up with all the changes on your own.  But the younger generation has little problem doing this because they have grown up with it and have no idea what life was like before technology.
           So here are a few things from my past that have drastically changed with modern technology.
          A computer was something on TV, from a science fiction show.  A window was something you hated to clean and ram was the cousin of a goat.  Meg was the name of a girl and a gig was a job for the night.  Now they mean different things and that really mega bytes for those of us who are older.
          An application was for employment.  A program was a TV show.  A cursor used profanity.  A keyboard was a piano.
          Memory was something you lost with age.  Compress was something you did to the garbage, not something you did to a file.  And if you unzipped anything in public you might end up in jail for awhile.
         Log on was adding wood to the fire.  Hard drive was a long trip on the road.  A mouse pad was where a mouse lived and backup happened to your commode.
         Cut you did with a pocket knife.  Paste you did with glue.  A web was a spider's home and a virus was the flu.
          And words like e-mail, internet, rom, website, CPU, motherboard, modem, MIDI, joy sticks, Java, malware, social network, Facebook and wifi probably didn't even exist, or at least they weren't part of any normal conversation.  Can you define each of these?
          The speed of change in technology is unbelievable.  A year is a lifetime with technology.  Buy today and you will find a new and better product on sale in a few months.
          I guess one of the good things is that to the best of my knowledge, nobody has yet been killed in a computer crash.   However, your identity might have been stolen!

          So take a bit of time off today and enjoy a cookie.  Take a few bytes.  Just be careful not to attract any bugs with the crumbs.  You might also enjoy an Apple  (be sure it doesn't contain a worm) or some Mac and cheese, or how about some spam?
         If you've enjoyed this blog, just shout Yahoo!.  But maybe you want to first close your Windows so that those in your domain don't hear you.  
         And with that I will log off.